Italian Grand Prix
Thursday, 6 September 2012 by

Italy Pre-Weekend Analysis

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The 13th Race of 2012, Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Previous Winners
2011
Vettel
2010
Alonso
2009
Barrichello
2008
Vettel
2007
Alonso
2006
Schumacher
2005
Raikkonen
2004
Barrichello
2003
Schumacher
2002
Barrichello
2001
Montoya
Formula 1 returns to one of the classic race courses, a track which has been standard on the calendar ever since the inception of F1. Hopefully Monza will also be far more standard than the last race. With perfectly warm weather and no rain predicted (see F1 Weather for details) there should be a whole weekend of running. Also, the first corner of the Italian GP sees far fewer accidents than at Spa.

The key to Monza, more than most other tracks, is pole position. The Italian GP is arguably one of the simpler race courses and so there is less reason for the fastest driver and fastest car not to take pole position and the win. Over the past few years none of the top teams have had a vast advantage, with Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari performing roughly equally well here. The pace of the Lotus is unknown. They are not using their double DRS reports Sky Sports but could still be a threat since they usually perform best on warmer tracks. The favourite is Hamilton with odds of 3/1 (4.00) from Paddy Power. Having never won here and only reached the podium once in five races at Monza these are not particularly promising odds. Button, Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen all have odds between 5/1 (6.00) and 6/1 (7.00) from Betfair. These are better odds than Hamilton's but there is currently little to choose between them. The Mercedes usually run well here, liking the high speed straights of Monza. Given their recent weak performances victory would be a true gamble. Podiums are probably unlikely but top 6 at 9/4 (3.25) from Blue Square for both drivers is good value for money.

Grid position of race winner since 2001
Grid Position
Number of times
1st
7
4th
2
5th
1
The high speeds of Monza puts the most mechanical strain on the cars than any other circuit so reliability is a factor. With modern F1 cars so reliable this is not too much of a concern but works slightly in favour of Ferrari and against Red Bull, Lotus and Mercedes. However, it is worth noting that Webber changed his gear box in Belgium and hopefully will not be plagued by this problem again. He has the highest odds for a top 6 finish of all the top drivers at 67/100 (1.67) from SkyBet and this looks good value for money given his new gear box.

With seven of the last ten race wins coming from pole there is a useful alternative strategy. Rather than betting on both qualifying and race winner, affectively combine the bets by just betting on race winner. Pick who you think will take pole and bet on them to win the race, taking advantage of the far higher odds for race winner available before qualifying. However, the current pace of the teams is difficult to judge. The upgrades from the summer have not yet revealed their potential after the rain drenched Belgium practice meant set up was guess work. How they will run in a normal race is very much unknown. Waiting for free practice one and free practice two is advised although with this uncertainty ideally wait for free practice three also.

Odds above accurate at Wednesday 5th, 23.43 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © marco_ask

Read 1508 times Last modified on Thursday, 06 September 2012 08:55

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